Desert People

Un film de / a film by : Ian Dunlop (Australie)


Accompagné du seul commentaire de l’auteur, ce film muet restitue, avec une grande rigueur, les gestes quotidiens de deux familles nomades, vivant de la chasse et de la cueillette dans une des régions les plus arides du continent : le désert de l’Ouest de l’Australie Centrale. Ce film est constitué à partir de matériaux qui figurent également dans les parties 1, 2 et 4 de la série “People of the Australian Western Desert”.

A day in the life of two nomadic families of the Australian Western Desert. Desert People was shot in 1965 in the Gibson Desert of the Australian Western Desert. There was still a handful of family groups perhaps three or four, living a nomadic hunter-food gatherer life, somewhere in the heart of the desert.
Desert People tells simply of a day in the life of two of those families. Djagamara and his family were filmed where they were found. They were camped by an unusually plentiful supply of water, a pool in an otherwise dry creek bed at Badjar in the Clutterbuck Hills. Djagamara collects spinifex gum and melts this ready for use. He collects and makes stone flakes. His wives collect the seed of woolybutt grass, grind it and make seed cake.
The second part of the film is about Minma and his family. They had recently (some months previously) gone to live at Warburton mission. The film unit took Minma and his family back to his country to record his life as it had always been until a few months before. This footage has been edited into the form of a journey by Minma’s family from one well to another. As they travel from Yalara to Tika Tika they collect small animals, lizards, and vegetable foods. At Tika Tika, the family make camp, collect water from Tika Tika well, cook the food and go to bed.
Desert People is a more general, interpretive film made from sections of People of the Australian Western Desert Parts 1, 2, 4 and 9.

Le documentariste australien Ian Dunlop est internationalement reconnu, pour avoir réalisé, à travers des films tels que Desert People et le Yirrkala Film Project, un témoignage cinématographique inestimable de l’histoire autochtone
Après des études à l’Université de Sydney, Ian Dunlop rejoint, en 1956, le Commonwealth Film Unit (qui deviendra Film Australia), où il travaille pendant plus de trente ans, en tant que producteur et réalisateur. Parmi ses films, la série People of the Australian Western Desert, la série de films Towards Baruya Manhood, avec l’anthropologue Maurice Godelier, sur l’initiation masculine en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, et le Yirrkala Film Project, une série remarquable de films tournés sur 25 années avec les Yolgnus de la Terre d’Arnhem.

Internationally renowned Australian documentary filmmaker Ian Dunlop has produced a significant and lasting audiovisual record of Indigenous history through films such as Desert People and the Yirrkala Film Project.
After graduating from Sydney University, Ian joined the Commonwealth Film Unit (later Film Australia) in 1956. Ian spent over thirty years with Film Australia as a producer and director. His films include the People of the Australian Western Desert series, the Towards Baruya Manhood series of films about male initiation in Papua New Guinea, with French anthropologist Maurice Godelier, and the Yirrkala Film Project, an acclaimed series of films shot over twenty five years about the Yolgnu people of Arnhem Land.

Fiche technique

Un film de / a film by : Ian Dunlop (Australie)

Image : Richard Howe Tucker
montage : Ian Dunlop
Production : Australian National Film Board Production, Australian Commonwealth Film Unit for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (Australie)
Distribution : National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Pyrmont (Australie) – access@nfsa.gov.au

An Australian National Film Board Production. Produced by the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.